Passports for Kids

So, we are planning a family trip and since our kid's passports expired last fall I have been busy trying up get all the paperwork together so we can have passports in hand for them when we depart.

I thought I would share with you some of the process involved in getting a passport, since it is always changing and even the information on the government site as well as on the paperwork itself "is not up-to-date" (Yes, that is what I was told yesterday when I went to update all three of the kid's passports and ended up only completing one application with the need to come back today to complete the other two.)

First of all, all kids 15 and under need to have new passports issued every 5 years while an adult only does every 10 years.  Also, a child's passport cannot be renewed like an adults, rather a new process needs to be started each time. 

You can get copies of the passport application paperwork at the Department of State site.  Here is the link to the DS11, which is the all purpose application.  Per the government worker I spoke with yesterday, on page 2 you do still need to fill out the address (even if it is the same as page 1).

Also, when applying for a child's passport, both parents need to be present.  More specifics for how to apply for a passport for a children who does not have both parents, who are listed on their birth certificates, can found on this detailed page that describes how to go about the passport process for minors.  In our case, my husband filled out a notarized DS3053 over his lunch hour and then I was able to take his consent into the office with the kids instead of him having to take time off of work to go with us.

Now, here is the other bit of information I was not told on the site, but the reason I have to go back again today.  If you are applying for a child's passport you can not just use their old passport.  You also need to bring in a certified copy of their birth certificate which will be mailed in with the application.

Last, but not least you also need a 2x2 photo that fits the passport criteria of placement, color, expression, attire, and size.  I used the Walmart passport sizing software on their site and with about 3 different photos taken of each of my children, I was able to get it to the right proportions.

Finally, to find the closest place to submit your child's passport application, you can go to this site and do a search.  

Happy traveling is ahead...that is if we jump through enough hoops to get all our papers in order.

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